Monday, September 20, 2010

A New Paradigm is Emerging

Meeting President Lech Walesa in Poland these week was like touching history. His presence at the Games was an unmistakable message for our athletes that they are the vanguard of a new, powerful social movement.

During my visit to the Polish Parliament buildings in Warsaw today with our youth summit, I saw the 22 points the shipyard workers submitted to the communist government to protest its rule. They were painted by hand on salvaged plywood from the shipyard. There was no sophisticated PR roll-out, no elaborate graphics, just raw determination and a relentless passion for, and a deep belief in, the quality of the human spirit. Those were the ingredients Walesa used to topple one of the most powerful regimes the world has seen. Needless to say, these are the same gifts our athletes use to topple age-old barriers and stubborn indifference.

But what was equally important was Mr. Walesa's comments at a Games event, "The age of blocks and ideologies is over." He went on to suggest a new paradigm is emerging, but it is our athletes that most understand this paradigm - our athletes understand that relationships are central to social justice. The new paradigm puts unity and community at the top of the world's agenda.

I can feel the spirit of Walesa as the baton of leadership is handed off to the athletes of Special Olympics. And they may be able to slim down the 22 points to 2: Get in the Game and Play United!

Thanks to former President of Poland, and the 
hero of 'Solidarity' Mr. Lech Walesa for your support!

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